Should You Choose Your Own Closing Agent

In the process of buying a house, you have to make decisions about a number of aspects, including your loan options, choosing a real estate agent, getting the house inspected by a professional, etc. Similarly, when it comes to closing a real estate deal, you may wonder whether to choose your own closing agent. But before making this decision, you need to first understand who a closing agent is and what role he or she plays in closing a deal.

A closing agent is a person or a company who coordinates all procedures and formalities required to complete the sale or purchase of a property. He or she ensures that all documents are in order before you sign a deed and also interacts with your lenders to obtain details concerning the disbursement of funds and closing instructions. Once all these documents have been gathered, the closing agent prepares a settlement statement and the required affidavits.

In general, a closing agent does not work for a buyer, seller, lender or real estate agent. However, he or she may have to work with all these parties to obtain the necessary documents, such as the sale contract, inspection report, home warranty documents, and so on. The closing agent also ensures that you are in agreement with the opposite party that all papers obtained are in order and collects checks required for covering closing costs and other deposits.

Lastly, the closing agent records the deed and mortgage with the appropriate courthouse, and then he or she returns the original deed to you and the original mortgage document to the lender.

Why Hire a Closing Agent?

First of all, an experienced, reliable closing agent can close a deal smoothly and more rapidly and help you avoid a complicated or delayed closing process. Secondly, closing agents have vast experience in real estate transactions, and therefore, they have better knowledge about the types of loans available and which loan would suit your needs best. They also draw up all the necessary paperwork and handle the payoff to the seller. This drastically reduces the burden on you.

So Should You Choose Your Own Closing Agent?

While as a buyer you reserve the right to choose your own closing agent, it is wise to enlist the services of the closing agent affiliated with the seller. This is because sellers work with a regular set of closing agents who are well accustomed to all procedures and formalities. For example, when it comes to REO properties or bank owned houses, the closing agents working with the bank may have more experience with the paperwork necessary to complete the closing, as opposed to someone chosen by you. Sellers also prefer to work with these agents because there is a mutual understanding of their Service Level Agreement (SLA) and turn-around-time. This makes the process much smoother.

For you to opt for your own closing agent, you must be familiar with closing agents in your state, which you probably are not. Leaving the choice to the seller comes with other benefits too. Most sellers offer to pay for your title insurance policy and other related search fees as an incentive for allowing them to choose the title provider and closing agent. And by leaving the choice of closing agent to the seller, you can ensure a faster closing time.

Things To Consider Before You Buy An Apartment

The rules for finding and buying an apartment apply whether you are young and are first leaving home or downsizing after the kids have flown the nest. Apartments appeal for all sorts of reasons but the basic principles in making a choice almost always apply in every purchase.

Here are some factors you should consider in making your choice. Of course if you have no ties and pots of cash then you have a much wider choice than someone who has to live near where they work and is on a strictly limited budget. So here goes.

Pets anyone?

If you are an animal lover then you may have a problem. All apartment complexes have certain rules and many forbid the ownership of pets. Mind you a goldfish may be fine but dogs and cats are often not allowed. Dont fall in love with an apartment until you know if you can have your beloved pooch with you.

Management body

All apartment complexes have a set of rules about life in the complex. This can cover such things as maintaining a common garden area, painting the outside of the building and repairs to the roof and external features like guttering and down pipes. Before you purchase your apartment find out what fees apply for the body corporate and what are the dos and donts they rule on. As an owner you have a voice on decisions made which affect the complex.

Common walls

If you share a common or party wall, what is its thickness? Apartments mean residents are often living in close proximity to others. Your ceiling may well be someone elses floor. Thats why the top storey apartments usually cost more they have no upstairs neighbors! It can be a good idea to inspect at night when adjoining apartments are occupied and the kids and TV are in full voice.

The Sun

Does your potential apartment get plenty of sunlight? Natural light is important but if you are in a shaded aspect, especially in winter, your apartment will be less enjoyable than someone who has liberal doses of glorious sunshine. Check on the sunlight.

Location, location, location

Its the old real estate mantra. The worst apartment in the best street will always sell because of the location. You may wish to be an owner-occupier but what if later you decide to move? Will the apartment be easy to sell or rent? The location could well decide the issue. Schools, public transport, hospitals, shopping malls are all necessary places for most people. Are they handy to your apartment?

Building quality

Even if you only plan to stay in your apartment for a few years, the quality of its design and construction is important. Have it checked out by a reputable builder. You dont want repair bills. Look for quality in the first place.


Modern apartment complexes are springing up all over town. They have trendy designs and modern appliances, cable connections for TV and computer and even swish elevators. But its often the case that old style buildings appreciate greatly in value over time. Just because an apartment complex is old, doesnt mean it doesnt appreciate in value. Ask around and seriously consider something like an art deco apartment for style and financial security.

There is much to check when buying an apartment. Make a list. Check those things which pass your test. Room space, garden area, balcony, noise and the other tenants are all worth consideration.

Come And Stay In The Ipoh Service Apartment. It Is Really Beneficial

Ipoh service apartment is very well known through out the world. If you have heard about Ipoh, you must also have heard about the popularity of the Ipoh service apartment. Instead of booking a hotel, you can book an Ipoh service apartment.

The apartments that you would get here are quite cheap. Large rooms with double or king size beds, attached bathrooms, kitchen, self-catering facilities, lounge, and swimming pool are all available here in the service apartments of Ipoh. Many tourists consider that it is a better option to go for the service apartment booking than for the hotels. The hotels comparatively charge higher than the service apartments. At the same time, the services that you can get in the luxurious hotels are more or less the same that you would get in the service apartments.

After you book any of the Ipoh service apartment, there will be no interference from any one. You can use it as you wish to use. In the hotels, there may be interference but there will no chance of any interference in these apartments.

It is a better idea to go for the booking as soon as you plan your tour. Once you book you will have no tension about the availability. This is because Ipoh is full of tourists all the year round and availability of the service apartments in Ipoh becomes a problem. Book from before with sufficient time in hand so that you can get the best.

You may also visit Ipoh for any business purpose. This is because Ipoh is a place of business and financial center. Several business men come here all the year round for important meetings and business tours. If you are also a business man, you can be assured to carry on your meetings or conferences in the Ipoh service apartment.

There are several luxurious hotels in Ipoh which provides facilities for conferences and meetings. Teleconferencing or video conferencing are possible here. However, in that case, you may have to spend little more money. Thus it is a better option to book the service apartment and carry on all the important affairs peacefully and in private.

The locations of majority of the service apartments are excellent. They are located close to the airport as well as the main shopping center. Besides this, you can also enjoy yourself with a delicious and tasty meal in the nearby restaurants. If you want to enjoy the night life of Ipoh which is known to be reputed, you can cheer yourself up in the dance floor and the night clubs at Ipoh. These clubs are also located close to the service apartments.

To get the best Ipoh service apartment, you can log on to the internet where you will get all kinds of information that you might require related to hotels or Ipoh service apartment. This is the official site of the best hotel in Ipoh or the best service apartment in Ipoh.

How to Search for a Suitable Student Apartment

The search for desired apartment can be challenging, but you can find wide variety of options to choose from. Though apartments are available at all the time it is better to start searching early, so that you can find the apartment of your choice. Initially you have to decide whether to live on campus or off campus. You should select a place based on the budget and the neighborhood you would like to live in. It should be near to public transportation for easy access to transit from one point to another.

Sources to Search Student Apartment To search a suitable apartment for the students there are various sources to find them. Probably, most of the students choose among the following ways:

On the campus: Many on-campus apartments are sited within the institutions campus or at convenient locations. The apartment managers are concerned with administrative work and filling vacancies. Students have to approach them at least two months before graduation, to learn all the options. The major benefit of living on campus is having easy access to everything the college offers. The libraries, sports facilities, and computer centers will be at your convenience.

Off the campus: Few colleges do not facilitate on-campus housing and those providing it are not sufficient for all the students. As a result, to assist students in searching a right place to live. The off-campus housing helps students to find a compatible roommate to share expenses. They also provide information about the local neighborhoods like, restaurants, shops, and public transportation accessible.

Through Agents: An efficient search of student apartment is made through the property agents. They provide a wide range of apartments with fully furnished and unfurnished apartments. The rent is subject to facilities available in the apartment. If a student wants to find an apartment to share, agents can assist the arrangement as well. A wide range of accommodations ranging from low budget accommodations to luxury apartments is available online.

Advertisements: Students can find their apartment from the classified ads in the newspaper, Internet, etc. Organizations pursue aggressive advertising campaign, targeting students through advertisements, distributing flyers on campus, about the apartment vacancies. Students living off campus are often on a quest to find a good apartment and few landlords lookout for better student tenants. In such case, advertisements arbitrate between them.

Student Clubs: Many institutions have certain Student Clubs that assists even in finding apartments. They don’t maintain any housing units nor supervise off-campus housing. However, they intend to offer a housing resource listing service, which provides current available listings of apartments for sharing, sale or lease. The listings are free and are available in hard-copy form in the concerned committees or clubs.

This information assists the students from different place to find a suitable apartment. A student can adopt any of the above sources according to their choice and convenience. helps you in finding apartments in various locations. Most likely other users have already rated apartments in your target area like Atlanta apartments. If you are looking for a Apartments in Philadelphia or apartments in Houston then apartment reviews will help you in choosing the one that best suits your needs.

New Waterfront Development On Lake Livingston Real Estate

Cedar Point Changes Hands

Majority control of Cedar Point subdivision changed hands this week when local company Waterfront Development purchased the Dallas-based lender EIC who had foreclosed on the property.

Immediately after completing the purchase, Waterfront Development paid off over $60,000 in back taxes and donated 114 lots to the Property Owners Association; giving them needed Green Belts, parks and several key maintenance areas in the subdivision.

In a separate action, the Property Owners association filed a lawsuit in Polk County Monday 4 December against the former developer, seeking to transfer ownership of the Common Areas from Concord Capital Group as Trustee, directly to the Property Owners Association. The former Developer plagued, by legal problems including criminal indictments, filled bankruptcy on Monday 4 December in a Dallas Court.

Over the weekend, well over half of the property owners in Cedar Point worked together and voted to change their deed restrictions in an effort to protect their common areas and clean up the old and abandoned homes, mobile homes and travel trailers scattered around the community.

Many of our residents were trying to make the subdivision a great place to live however, we needed the help of deed restrictions to eliminate the small percentage of those who are hurting our community, says POA President Bettie Dugan, a long time Cedar Point resident. Our community is working so hard to make life great here, just look at the incredible Christmas lights on the homes and at the entrance. These new deed restrictions will prevent additional mobile homes from being moved into the community while allowing the existing ones which are in good condition to stay in place.

Waterfront Development, through its subsidiary Vacation Home Builders in cooperation with The Von Schmidt Design Group already have two upscale homes under construction in the subdivision, and will begin redevelopment of Cedar Point with the help of the community after the start of the New Year with 12 new homes slated for the first half of 2007.

A separate community Know as the Villages of Cedar Point for over 55 residents is planned with cottages ranging form 900-1400 square feet. Exterior maintenance will be provided allowing people to visit family and travel without worrying about their yards. The undeveloped peninsula, which may represent the largest remaining undeveloped shoreline on the southern half of the lake, is slated to become 55 waterfront lots. Each lot will be over 100 feet wide. This project is slated for February 2007.

Waterfront Development, who will be investing over 7 Million dollars in this project, estimates that new construction over the next three years will add over 32 million dollars to the Polk County tax appraisal rolls, while providing needed new housing to attract affluent Houston buyers as well as Baby Boomer retirees.

Cedar Point is a breathtaking piece of property which we have been interested in for over two years, said Charles Von Schmidt, the companys President. We feel the market is right for a project of this nature and, with the help of local realtors, we will be able to provide jobs, needed tax revenues and additional business for local merchants.

After many years of mismanagement, the combined positive actions and forward thinking of all involved are making the future a lot brighter for Cedar Point.
For more information

Apartment Security 101 A Burglar’s Fantasy=propped Open Apartment Building Doors

College Safety offices everywhere are reminding students not to leave doors open. But these images are far more frequent than they or we’d like. And remember, it’s not only college students who are vulnerable to doors left open — those of you living in apartment communities or large complexes can fall prey to savvy burglars as well.

It’s Security 101: a propped open door just reeks of opportunity. Once inside of a large apartment or dorm complex it’s very hard to differentiate between a legitimate tenant and a thief.

College campuses are particularly prone to this. I remember dorm block parties where we left the doors propped so other students could come inside. As a college freshman, it didn’t occur to me that ANYONE could get into my dorm, where I slept behind an often unlocked door. Apartment dwellers face similar concerns (particularly those without any concierge or onsite manager). How many times have you seen your neighbors prop open building doors?

Protect Yourselves and Your Neighbors

Don’t make it easy for burglars to come into your home: Live.Safely & close the door. In our passion for safety and the good city life, we’re hoping that you will close propped doors wherever you see them. And remind your friend, son or daughter on college campuses to close propped doors. We can all be the Karma Police and do a little bit to keep everyone around us, neighbor or stranger, a little bit safer.

Get an Apartment Security System

Few apartment owners and renters even know that there is a home security option specifically designed for them. Unfortunately this means millions of people lack personal safety and peace of mind. The advances in technology mean that you can have a wireless apartment security system in place and monitored within a few days. No hardwiring, no technician entering your apartment. SimpliSafe will ship you your customized system and you can install if your self in 20 minutes.

Why Would I Assume An Apartment Lease

When someone is looking for an individual to assume apartment lease it is because the early lease termination fee is too large an amount to lose or the deposit is in danger of being forfeited. Finding someone to assume apartment lease is easier said than done added to this the landlord may not want to take over lease from you. Here lies the problem.

It is difficult for a landlord to find a good tenant to lease out the apartment to. This is a process that takes a couple or even four months. During this time the apartment is vacant and there is no revenue coming from the property. It is for this reason that the landlord may put in a clause that will earn him a few months rent in case the tenant wants to go in for early termination of lease. While early termination of lease allows the tenant to get out of the lease early it also leads to some form of loss for the tenant. This loss may come in the form of him or her having to lose the security deposit or pay a few months rent if they decide to go for early termination of lease.

There are sites like apartmentleasedepot that help people get out of apartment lease. They do this by finding someone to assume apartment lease by matching your listing with thousands of people looking for a short term apartment lease. They can only do this, however, by offering some sort of incentive in the form of a couple of months rent, free furniture avoid paying the security deposit etc. This is a great way to get a cheap short term lease for as much as a year.

The landlord gains by getting an extra months rent and a tenant that might like to continue the lease after he has decided to assume the apartment lease from the previous tenant. The person who assumes the apartment lease gains by getting an apartment without having to pay the hefty deposit and perhaps a few months rent too. The person wanting an early lease termination gains by getting out of the lease early and giving up the apartment, not having to continue paying the rent as the person who is assuming the apartment lease will take care of the remaining months rent, besides the security deposit will be refunded to the original lease holder on the expiry of the ease.

Find a reliable site like to get you out of your present apartment lease with as little financial damage as possible. Register with the site and pay a one time fee, register your lease and offer some of the recommended incentives like a waiver of a couple of months rent. Within no time you will be matched with people ready to assume apartment lease and you will get and early lease termination. In the end all four parties will be content.

Important Things To Think About Before You Decide Which Apartment Floor To Live On

Scouting for an Apartment Tangier is likely to be a very meticulous task, more so with so many alternatives available. Deciding which floor to live on if you come upon available apartments in a multistory building can be quite difficult. You may be able to make a decision if you ask yourself the following questions:

Would you like to have a nice view?

If you dream of an amazing cityscape view, you’ll need an apartment on an upper floor. But, you must remember that an upper floor apartment generally costs more so you have to be financially able to pay for it.

How much are you willing to spend?

As stated before, apartments are generally more expensive on the higher floors than they are on the lower floors. It is important to know in advance how much you are able to spend. A less expensive ground floor unit might be better for those who have a tight budget.

Are you willing to compromise with occasional noise?

You have to remember that apartment spaces close to the ground could be exposed to more noise, especially if the apartment building is located near a busy street. If you stay in a unit near the ground floor, a lot of noise can be expected from passing vehicles and traffic. Also, some people avoid apartments found on the ground floor because they can become noisy, especially if the rooms are linked with a common hallway that other tenants regularly access. If it is important that the apartment you choose will give you total peace and quiet then you should choose a unit that is far from any distractions and noise.

What type of accessibility are you looking for?

Even though most of the apartments are equipped with elevators, some tenants don’t want to have to wait for it. If you maintain a job at another place and are uncomfortable with the thought of having to walk up several flights of stairs then you should consider an apartment found on the ground floor or at a lower level.

What is the security level?

Ground floor units are more exposed to the risk of theft or break-ins. If the apartment building is located in a suspicious neighborhood and you are still not secure with the building’s own security measures then you should at least pick a unit that is on an upper floor.

Do you suffer from any phobia or have disabilities?

If you are prone to phobias, be extra careful when choosing the right apartment for you. If you have any mobility impairments, you might want to look for an apartment building that has an elevator. Elevators will make things more convenient for you especially if you are thinking of living on an upper floor.

Your new apartment should be able to cater to your needs and meet your expectations. So make sure you fully assess the details of your potential investment.

Glossary Of Types Of Apartments For Rent In Ottawa

Looking through the apartment listings can be a pretty confusing experience. Just what are the differences between a junior one-bedroom and an alcove studio? A convertible three-bedroom and a flex two-bedroom? Knowing the layout of each type of apartment and what features each type contains will greatly improve your chances of finding the perfect apartment rental for your needs and lifestyle.

Walk-Up Apartment / Low-Rise Apartment

A walk-up or low-rise apartment is located in a building that does not have an elevator (which means it might be a bit more difficult when youre moving in). Walk-ups are usually older buildings that are less than five storeys high and may not have a lot of amenities such as laundry rooms, storage lockers or wheelchair accessibility. Generally, monthly rent for a walk-up is less expensive than the monthly rent for a high-rise apartment.

High-Rise Apartment

A high-rise apartment is found in a building that is generally six or more storeys tall. High-rise apartment buildings have elevators and often have onsite laundry facilities, pools, fitness centres, comprehensive fire alarm systems, and security systems to monitor tenant entry and exit. In addition, many high-rise apartment buildings feature onsite management staff to assist you in the event of an emergency.

Bachelor Apartment / Studio Apartment

A great choice for students, a bachelor apartment (also called a studio apartment or an efficiency apartment) is a small one-room apartment with a separate bathroom. The one room serves as a bedroom, dining room and living room and is usually connected to an open kitchen. Bachelor apartments can range from very small (just big enough for a sofabed and a desk) to very large (with enough room for a king-size bed and a separate sitting area and dining area).

An alcove bachelor (also called a convertible bachelor or convertible studio) is usually configured in an L-shape with a distinct area or nook for dining or sleeping.

1-Bedroom Apartments

A one-bedroom apartment consists of a living room, kitchen, bathroom and a separate bedroom equipped with a built in closet. Occupancy may often be limited to two people.

A junior one-bedroom usually implies an extra-large studio apartment that is large enough to section off a separate sleeping area or bedroom.

2-Bedroom Apartments

A full two-bedroom apartment has two separate bedrooms in addition to a living room. It may or may not have a separate kitchen. Bedroom sizes can vary widely, from a baby’s room or small office to an extra-large master bedroom suite.

A convertible two-bedroom apartment (sometimes called a flex 2) is actually a one-bedroom apartment, but it is large enough and laid out in such a way that a wall could be put up to create a second bedroom. Similarly, a convertible three-bedroom (or flex 3) is a two-bedroom apartment that can be converted into 3 bedrooms.

A wing apartment usually has two bedrooms as well as a small common area such as an eat-in kitchen, but no living room. These apartments are ideal for students or roommates who don’t require much in the way of common living space.


A loft can be classified as a big, open space with few internal walls. Usually the result from a commercial building having been converted into residential units, lofts generally have very high ceilings, extra-large windows and often have exposed plumbing pipes and columns.

Penthouse Apartment

A penthouse is an apartment on the top floor of an apartment building, usually featuring extra balconies or a rooftop deck. A penthouse is normally considered to be quite luxurious and is an extremely desirable (albeit expensive) place to live.

Basement Apartment

As the name implies, a basement apartment is located in the lowest storey of a building and is partially below ground level. Windows and proper ceiling height are enforced by city codes. This type of apartment can also refer to the basement on a house that has been converted to an apartment. This type of basement apartment may have its own separate entrance and may have its own bathroom, kitchen, laundry room and heating system separate from the rest of the house.

Duplex Apartment

A duplex is an apartment with two levels. This could include a true bi-level apartment with an enclosed upstairs and downstairs, or it could also be an open space with an extra-high ceiling and a loft or mezzanine.

Railroad Apartment

In a railroad apartment, there is no hallway. This type of apartment consists of a series of rooms that are connected to each other in a straight line (just like cars on a train), meaning a tenant will have to walk through each room to get from one end of the apartment to the other.

Balcony / Terrace

The terms balcony and terrace are often used interchangeably to indicate a railed platform extending from the outside of the apartment. It can be small enough to accommodate one or two people standing or large enough for a picnic table, lounge chairs and plants.

Making The Grade Understanding Commercial Property Ratings

If you’re looking to start up a business in Sydney CBD, one of the greatest challenges is finding suitable office space. Unlike looking for a flat or home, your commercial real estate is critical to your business – location and appearances are everything; but how do you balance the best expensive costs of prime commercial with your operations budget?

Australia has a commercial property rating system that helps businesses determine which type of property is best suited for their needs. From the most expensive Grade A Sydney CBD locale, to Grade D bare bones facilities, find out what grades of commercial property are out there and what it all means for your business.

Which Grade of Commercial Property is best suited to your business needs?

Grade A: Grade A properties are prime locations in highly sought-after addresses. The properties will be in the heart of the financial or business districts and be relatively new or recently refurbished, with state-of-the-art fixtures and fittings. Rents in Grade A offices will naturally tend to be higher, catering to the executive classes of Fortune 500 companies. Traditionally, Grade A property tends to be leased or bought by banks, brokerage houses and high-profile law firms. Meanwhile, with the latest boom in the demand for sustainable and ecologically advanced premises, many of the newest “green” buildings tend to fall within the A Grade. Cities like Sydney always growing and Grade A property is now available in many outside of the immediate CBD to business districts in the City Fringe, including Surry Hills and Pyrmont.

Grade B: As Grade A property tends to be scarce and relatively pricey, the majority of businesses, especially newer ventures, will opt for Grade B office space. Grade B buildings will be less expensive but include all your standard amenities to make a good impression. Grade B offices tend to be a little bit away from the prime markets, but they could be on a main strip in a smaller city fringe suburb. Smaller law firms, independent investment consultants or doctors’ offices make great use of Grade B buildings. Many cities have Grade B office building clusters near airports or other transportation hubs, but away from the central “downtown” areas and business districts.

Grade C: Grade C properties are inexpensive, functional buildings. Furniture and fittings tend to be older and buildings are maintained to a lower standard than higher grade buildings. Grade C offices are best suited to call centres, small firms and start-ups and will tend to be older and located farther out of the central business districts. Don’t look for pretty lobbies or plush carpeting in Grade C buildings; these are about function over form.

Grade D: Grade D office space is the least expensive commercial property grade – and for good reason. Office space in Grade D buildings tends to cramped, furnishings and fixtures are relatively shabby. Most of the space in the facilities will be used for storage or manufacturing. Grade D buildings are well outside the standard business areas, often located in industrial parks. Grade D properties are suited for manufacturing or distribution companies that require large warehouse industrial real estate in Sydney or storage space as adjuncts to office space.

Meanwhile, some central CBD areas have gone beyond the traditional grading system. Some of the most exclusive property is now considered “Premium” property above Grade A. Look for these at prime locations with “Harbour Views” and exceptional quality.

Keep in mind that when you pick your commercial real estate, it’s more than just the grade that matters. Consider for example whether you need a store front. You can often go a grade up in your choices by downsizing your space requirements or looking outside the CBD to outer suburbs, such as the City Fringe.